The Court of Appeal held an employer liable for an assault by its managing director at impromptu drinks following a company Christmas party.
The assault on one of the company’s employees left the latter with brain damage.
It happened during drinks at a hotel, which some staff had gone on to after the party. When a decision of the managing director was challenged, he summoned the staff present to meet in the hotel lobby, where he sought to assert his authority.
At least two judges considered the facts of the case were unusual. Liability would not arise just because there was an argument about work matters between colleagues which leads to an assault, even when one colleague is markedly more senior than the other.
The case is Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd, www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2018/2214.html